Off-roaders have a new car to worship, and that’s the Mahindra Roxor.
Some people say that the Jeep Wrangler has strayed a little too far from its roots. Rather than having the simple mechanical components that a Jeep Willys would have, it comes with things like cruise control, adaptive driver assistance, and dare we even say it, an infotainment center with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
General Patton must be rolling in his grave.
So it’s with some strange relief we find that the soul of the Jeep has been reborn but in India. The Mahindra Roxor is the heir to the Jeep throne, only it speaks Hindi. We're not sure if this will stop Patton from rolling around, given the General’s outdated ideas of racism, but back in the 21st century, we can appreciate the Roxor for what it is: a pure, barebones, four-wheel drive off-roader.
And in case you think this car is merely stealing the Jeep’s legacy, Mahindra has been building Jeeps under license for decades, and only after they started selling in markets other than India did Fiat Chrysler pull that license.
The Roxor’s Jeep heritage is clear as soon as you look at the five-slatted grille in the front. Underneath the solid steel body is an equally solid steel chassis, with two not-so-solid leaf springs keeping the two solid axles from snapping. Sounds solid.
Underneath the hood is something that’s rarely seen in the West: a turbo diesel engine. At 2.5 liters of displacement, you’d expect some fairly impressive power numbers from such a thing. Sadly, the four-cylinder engine outputs 62 measly horses and 144 lb-ft torque. When you consider the car’s 3000 lb weight, the numbers don’t look any better.
But the Jeep was never about power, it was about simplicity. Those 62 horses all work in tandem with a four-wheel drive, five-speed manual transmission to drive literally anywhere. Except for highways, where those 62 horses can get it up to a top speed of around 45 mph, preventing it from being certified for highway driving.
That said, the Roxor will be built in Detroit and (according to Autocar India) even supplied to the US postal service for their deliveries, where highway driving isn’t a factor.
We don’t have a US release date, but their website certainly makes it seem like it’ll be sooner rather than later.